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intelligence prepares for ‘radicalization’ of protests

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Violent actions have been spreading in France since the government's recourse to 49.3 on March 16, to pass the pension reform (Here, a fire near a TotalEnergies service station, in Le Havre, on March 21).
<span class="credit">LOU BENOIST / AFP</span> <span class="caption">Violent actions have been spreading in France since the government&#8217;s recourse to 49.3 on March 16, to pass the pension reform (Here, a fire near a TotalEnergies service station, in Le Havre, on March 21).</span>


Violent actions have been spreading in France since the government’s recourse to 49.3 on March 16, to pass the pension reform (Here, a fire near a TotalEnergies service station, in Le Havre, on March 21).

PROTESTS – After the forced passage of the pension reform with the use of 49.3, the anger growls every day stronger in France. Local elected officials report sporadic demonstrations that are increasingly violent and fear that the ninth day of mobilization this Thursday, March 23 against the reform wanted by the government does not turn into clashes with the police.

“The mobilization could experience a new impetus in view of the emotion aroused by the use of Article 49.3 of the Constitution”anticipates a note of informationconsulted by The Parisian. 600,000 to 800,000 demonstrators are expected throughout France and 40,000 to 70,000 in the capital, this document specifies. This is more than the 480,000 demonstrators (according to the Ministry of the Interior) mobilized on March 15but less than January 31 record (1.272 million demonstrators according to the authorities), note The Parisian.

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Intelligence still indicates that hundreds of yellow vests and “radical elements” could join the procession. Unions fear that their presence will lead to “outbreak of violence” et “a defection of the family public, reluctant to be involved in abuses and resigned after the rejection of the motion of censure”.

All of these elements could “complicating the supervision of demonstrations on public roads by the union order services, continues the note quoted by the daily. Some warn of the risk of radicalization and fear internally that they will be overwhelmed by their most die-hard federations”.

Actions that degenerate in the region

After the announcement of the rejection of the censure motions on Monday, the tension is still up a notch in France: garbage cans were burned in Paris, burning barricades on the Rennes ring road blocked traffic, tear gas was used to contain demonstrators in Lille, universities were invaded by demonstrators…

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This Wednesday, on the eve of the great mobilization, several actions degenerated. A “dead port” operation took place in Le Havre, in Seine-Maritime, bringing together employees of the port area and dockers who blocked all access with barricades on fire, as you can see in the tweet video below.

The Saint-Nazaire bridge, in Loire-Atlantique, was completely blocked and street furniture was set on fire. According to West France, Some protestors “went to provoke the police”pushing back a parked police car, “several meters”.

These actions make some local elected officials fear a more violent mobilization than usual this Thursday. After clashes between protesters and law enforcement on Tuesday in Nancy, the city’s mayor, Mathieu Klein, asked the Meurthe-et-Moselle prefecture to take action “in order to avoid the repetition of this kind of scenario” before Thursday. ” I am well aware that Nancy is not the only city concerned. I also appeal to everyone’s responsibility. I believe that we must continue the movement but we must also respect public order, public tranquility ” he told France Bleu Lorraine on Wednesday.

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The municipality of Lannion has already anticipated the possibility of clashes. For the first time, the event will not take place in the city center but outside, near the IUT and shopping centers. Thus, the route of the procession has been reviewed: it will leave the airport car park at 11:30 a.m., then pass through the Pégase business park, indicates The Telegram.

The number of police and gendarmes revised upwards

In front of “ the worsening of tension in the streets of Paris in recent days”, the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo set up a crisis unit on Tuesday to ensure the continuity of public services for Parisians and to “ inform them in real time »precise France 3. It reports in particular daily, via press releases and on the luminous panels of the capital, the course of the processions of the demonstrators.

While the situation could still escalate on Thursday, Gérald Darmanin announced on Tuesday what “12,000 police and gendarmes” would be mobilized in France, of which “5,000 in Paris” to frame this new day of action. This is a record figure since the start of the mobilization against the pension reform.

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Since Thursday, the date of recourse to 49.3 by the government for the adoption of the pension reform, the minister affirmed that there had been “855 arrests in France including 729 in Paris for 843 police custody” et “always under the authority of the prosecution”. “Yes to the freedom to demonstrate, no to disorder, to mess”warned Gérald Darmanin, denouncing the wild gatherings of the last few days.

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